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Dr Pete
Dr Pete, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 3009
Experience:  Bachelor of Veterinary Science (University of Melbourne, Australia)
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how do I stop a neutered male from chasing an older spayed

Customer Question

how do I stop a neutered male from chasing an older spayed female. She is afraid of him and we don't know what to do.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Cat
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Age: 5; Male; Breed: black domestic

Already Tried:
We have tried Feliway. We have tried correcting him for chasing her. There is really no place to separate them. We have three cats. 2 males and 1 female. Elvis (the black one we are having the problem with is dominated by Smokey, the other male. I think Elvis just wants to be in charge of someone so Patches is the only one left. I don't know if that makes sense. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Patches (the female cat being chased is about 5 years older than the other 2.
Expert:  Dr Pete replied 8 years ago.
You are not alone with a problem like this. In multiple cat households it is common for social misbehaviour problems to develop with issues between individual cats. Cats are not social creatures by nature. In the wild they tend to lead a solitary life, only getting together for breeding and fighting. This is quite different to dogs, which are pack animals. Of course many homes now have multiple cats and so problems sometime soccur as cats vie for dominance. You are quite right in your interpretation of the interaction between the two males...Smokey bosses Elvis so Elvis bosses the poor little girl. Like children at school!
Feliway is a good start because it reduces anxiety and this can play a major part. However it was not strong enough in this case.
My usual recommendation as a next step is one of two medications.
1. Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA-50) is a progesterone hormone that reduces dominance behaviour in cats. It is probably going to be the most effective drug in your situation. But it will probably need to be administered to both male cats. It is an injection that lasts for several weeks in the patient. I have found it very effective although many cats need to have the injection repeated periodically. You would need to see your vet for this of course. He/she may explain to you that cats treated with this drug are at a higher risk of developing diabetes and can put weight on. This usually only occurs in cats receiving repeated injections over a long period of time. I do find sometimes a single shot stops the problem.
2. Clomicalm is an anti-anxiety medication which is registered only for dogs in the USA (if that's where you live). In Australia (where I practice) it is registered for use in cats too and can be very effective in anxiety related cases. Many vets in the US are happy to dispense this for cats. Again both the male cats would require treatment. This medications is quite safe but can take several weeks to have its full effect.
I would favour the medroxyprogesterone acetate in your case. The risks with just one injection are quite small and it will give you a faster and more likely result.
I hope I've been of help here. Please contact me back if I can assist further in any way.
Good luck, Peter